ICOMIA at Korea International Boat Show 2024


At the beginning of March 2024, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) was invited to attend the International Boat Show in Korea.

Before the show opened it’s doors the ICOMIA team were invited to tour of the educational facilities provided by the Korea Marine Education Academy, EDU Marine.

EDU Marine offers vocational training for predominantly young people looking to start their career in the marine industry. Korea enjoys a young and rapidly expanding boating market but one of the challenges faced, is the lack of ‘hereditary learning’ where skills are passed from generation to generation. Therefore, the need to attract, inspire and train the next generation of designers, builders, engineers, mechanics and trainers is one of the most pressing and strategic imperatives for the Korean industry.

The ICOMIA team were then invited to present to a panel of industry representatives, ranging from a national safety policy officers, to local designers and builders. ICOMIA’s Technical Manager Patrick Hemp shared his advice and experience on how to best make use of the existing safety standards, such as the ISO and RCD schemes and how important it is to design for both local and international markets simultaneously.

ICOMIA CEO Joe Lynch, along with KIBS Special Advisor Tim Coventry also had a series of meetings to discuss how important the recreational boating industry is to Korea. Their first meeting with Director General Kong Jeong-Sik of the Gyeonggi Provincial Government focused on how best to support the development of the industry. In particular the optimal way to manage the differences between industrial and leisure boating and how to allow both to thrive, safely and as a result to boost the national economy. 

Lynch also met with Oh Who-seok , the Vice Governor of Gyeonggi Provincial Government, the main underwriter of the show and the chief dignitary for the opening ceremonies. Our conversations covered the need to attract and train the next generation of skilled professionals to our industry in the face of competition from other sectors, the post Covid boom in boating and how best to ensure environmental sustainability so that future generations of boaters can also freely access pristine conditions. With such a huge technological focus, especially in the fields of AI and battery technology within the Korean economy, the potential for industry changing technology being developed locally is huge. 

ICOMIA was then invited to the main stage to join a panel of dignitaries and celebrities to formally open the show.

CEO Joe Lynch was joined amongst others, by YP Loke of the Singapore Boating Industry Association (SBIA) for this prestigious event. In his opening speech Lynch reminded the audience how lucky we are to work in an industry that helps promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of all of our customers, whilst simultaneously protecting the local environments and supporting the economy. He welcomed the newly formed Korean Marine Industry Association (KMIA) to full ICOMIA membership and commented that this new membership would not only support the marine industry in Korea, but helps to strengthen ICOMIA’s position as the voice of the recreational marine industry globally. 

We were delighted to see Tim Coventry, a long time friend of ICOMIA and our industry singled out for a lifetime achievement award and send our congratulations to him. 

In closing, the combined ICOMA and KMIA teams settled into one of several working sessions to discuss and agree how to get the most value from ICOMIA membership. We discussed the upcoming ICOMIA Boating Industry Conference in Singapore and invited delegates to the May 2024 ICOMIA/IFBSO Congress taking place in La Rochelle, France.

This trip was a brilliant opportunity to welcome new members to the ICOMIA family and visit the Korea International Boat Show at Kintex. If you want to see more pictures from the trip you can click here or for further information about ICOMIA membership email info@icomia.com.